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Sudanese authorities to control foreign presence in Khartoum

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May 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The government of Khartoum state has embarked on implementing protective measures to maintain the security situation and halt the proliferation of crimes and the negative phenomena committed by refugees.

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A South Sudanese woman rests on the ground in a refugee shelter at a railway station camp in Khartoum on 11 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Presidential commissioner at Khartoum state Al-Radi Saeed Hamid Monday told Sudan Tribune the measures come within the framework of a plan to control the foreign presence in the Sudanese capital.

He pointed that the governor of Khartoum state Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein has instructed the security apparatus and the police to take the necessary protective measures to prevent any criminal acts by foreigners, describing the security of the state as “redline that mustn’t be crossed by any party”.

The refugee commission put the total number of refugees in Sudan at 2 million.

According to the United Nations, the number of South Sudanese refugees who have sought shelter and assistance in Sudan since December 2013 is almost 390,000 people. Also, large influx of refugees from Syria, Yemen, Eritrea and Ethiopia has recently arrived in Sudan.

Al-Radi said the authorities would remove any illegal presence of foreigners in execution of the state government’s decision to free Khartoum of refugee camps, adding “refugees mustn’t reside in Khartoum and if they want to set up refugee camps they should go to the borders”.

He stressed that no camps for foreign nationals would be allowed in the capital, saying the international laws don’t allow that because Khartoum is far away from the borders with countries where these refugees came from.

Al-Radi also stressed the authorities won’t allow aid groups to provide any humanitarian assistance for refugees in Khartoum, saying refugees must return back to border areas if they want to receive assistance.

In June 2014, the coordination committee for security affairs in Khartoum state evacuated a temporary camp hosting South Sudanese refugees between al-Azozab and al-Shajara neighbourhoods.

A month earlier, Khartoum locality decided to remove the camp following complaints from residents about the increasing negative practices and threats to the community’s security.

Al-Radi pointed out that the Khartoum state has developed an integrated plan to control the foreign presence in coordination with the various government organs and the public, saying the foreign presence is divided into legal and illegal presence.

He said that any foreigner who violates the rules and laws will be punished, adding “it is not allowed to violate local laws and regulations because any violation will cause a security flaw and we wouldn’t tolerate it”

The commissioner pointed that some negative practices have pushed the authorities to take its recent decision regarding the foreigners including drug and human trafficking and making and selling of liquor.

He also mentioned few cases of organised crime committed by foreigners, saying “we will deal decisively with any foreigner who thinks about compromising security through involvement in any crimes that violate regulations and laws”.

(ST)

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